Breaking down the turning point in the Bengals’ win vs. Rams

Bengals. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Bengals. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals’ defense as a whole deserves a pat on the back for its performance on Saturday night, but a quarterback not named Joe Burrow also impressed.

Jake Browning, who entered the game as a third-string quarterback, put on a show in the Bengals’ 17-9 victory against the Los Angeles Rams.

The current projected QB2 for Cincy, Brandon Allen, started the first half but failed to record a touchdown as all his drives ended in field goals.

A strong Bengals defensive showing kept the narrow lead before Jake Browning stepped onto the field and make an immediate impact. Browning went 19-of-24 for 173 yards and one touchdown, earning a 110.6 quarterback rating.

He put together the best half we’ve seen so far in Bengals preseason which should put him neck-to-neck with Allen for the final quarterback spot on the roster.

Jake Browning should be the Bengals’ QB2 heading into the 2022 season

We recently made a case for why Allen would win the backup role in 2022 given his experience and familiarity in Cincy’s system, yet after watching this third preseason game Browning seems like the more competent pick.

Browning admittedly doesn’t have any actual NFL experience having spent his entire career on practice squads — he joined the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent in 2019, never saw any game action, and spent all of 2021 on the Bengals’ practice squad.

This year could be the year Cincy gives him a golden opportunity to succeed.

Whereas Allen came up short in end zone situations, Browning possessed the accuracy and awareness to find his wide receivers for key downs and, finally, a touchdown against a tough Rams defense. Early in the game, Allen was spotted scrambling out of the pocket and got taken down by a Rams pass-rusher more than a few times; Browning, when pressured, craftily maneuvered his way out of danger and didn’t give up crucial yardage.

With final roster cuts just a few days ago, the Bengals have two options here: pick Allen and continue playing it safe, or pick Browning and put their faith in someone who can actually win a few games in 2022.

Top 3 reasons Joe Burrow will win MVP in 2022. dark. Next

A backup QB should be dependable, but he should also prove capable of rising to the occasion when his team needs him to. Browning showed he can be that guy in Saturday’s victory.